Well, you can’t fix this malady. After blowing a save on Monday night, Hunter Strickland punched a wall and broke his hand. He’s expected to go 6 to 8 weeks without blowing another save.. Stash or Trash: I’m in a 14 team league and I’m trashing him. Replacement: Yoshihisa Hirano (4.9%.) With Brad Boxberger looking far from perfect, expect the Diamondbacks to start switching things up. I have a feeling that they’ll leave Archie Bradley as the set-up man because “he’s good in that role” or whatever BS the manager wants to say which could leave Hirano as a major option for saves in the desert. Hirano hasn’t allowed a run since May 5th and has 18 Ks in 17.1 IP over that time. Don’t forget that Hirano averaged 28 saves over the last 5 years he was pitching in Japan.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Ruptured Bicep Tendon: Looks like he won’t be flexing on ’em anymore — Cabrera’s season is over unfortunately. He was hitting .299, but only had 3 HRs in 38 games this season. Stash or Trash: Trash. It’s looking like the nuclear clock on Cabrera’s career ticked a few steps closer to midnight. Replacement: Jake Bauers (10.6%.) After the trade of Denard Span to the Mariners the clock was ticking for Jake Bauers to get his call. Since his call up on June 7th he’s hit .262 with a .380 OBP and 6 of his 11 hits have gone for extra bases. The 22 year-old is guaranteed playing time in the rebuilding Rays lineup and if he can live up to his potential (he was the #45 ranked prospect heading into the season) we may have the develops of a Brandon Belt type hitter here with a bit more speed.
Trevor Cahill, SP, Strained Achilles: Unfortunately the latest reports here are that there is no timetable for a Cahill return — but he may miss 2-3 more starts. Stash or Trash: If you’re in a league shallower than 12 teams you can safely trash Cahill. Otherwise if he’s going to miss two weeks and you’re in a deeper league you can hold onto Cahill and his surprising 0.99 WHIP and 2.77 ERA. Fill In: Chris Stratton (19.3%.) This has been an up and down year for Stratton so far. His first five starts weren’t bad — he held opponents to a 2.32 ERA with 24 Ks in 31 IP. Then over his next 6 starts he had an 8.00 ERA over 27 IP. Finally over his last four June starts he’s back on track with 23 IP, 16 Ks and a 2.35 ERA. His next opponent is the Padres who he shutout over 7 innings back in mid-April.
Carlos Carrasco, SP, Elbow Contusion: Carrasco was hit by a Joe Mauer line drive (hasn’t anyone taught Mauer about launch angles?!) on June 16th. Luckily — it looks like he might’ve avoided the worst case scenario and will be back before the end of June. Stash or Trash: Stash. Carrasco had a rough pair of starts at the end of May/beginning of June (10.1 IP, 11 ER)– but rebounded in two starts in early June (14 IP, 1 ER). Fill In: James Shields (6.8%) Guys, look, I know. It’s James Shields. Big Lame James. But outside of two big blow-ups he’s been pretty reliable. Since May 1st he’s made 10 starts and 8 of them have been quality starts. Yes, he only has 49 Ks over those 66 IP, but when he’s pitching as well as he is — you’ll take what you can get.
Matt Chapman, 3B, Right Hand Soreness: Good news: no structural damage. Bad news: what the hell is this soreness? He’s getting reevaluated so we’ll see what happens — but no news is good news right? Even though I just gave you good news and bad news at the top of this blurb? So that’s technically news — which is bad news? News is bad news! Stash or Trash: Stash. I don’t think ol’ Chappy will be out too long unless we get news. Last year between the minors and the A’s he hit 30 HRs after hitting 36 HRs in 135 minor league games in 2016. 10 HRs in 69 games so far isn’t too bad — but a hot streak should be coming for him. Fill In: Colin Moran (10.3%.) I know, I know, I know. This is Moran’s 87th appearance in the 13th week of this column, but he’s the ideal fill in option at either first or third base! He hits for a respectable average (.273) and is putting up just enough power numbers to help you win a week until your starting player recovers. Right now, he’s in the midst of a 7 game hit streak and has scored a run in 6 of his last 9 games.
Zack Cozart, 2B/SS/3B: Left Shoulder Subluxation: Cozart hurt himself diving for a ball on June 13th. Cozart hasn’t touched a baseball since his injury which is an important thing for baseball players to do. Stash or Trash: Honestly — I’d trash at this point unless you’re in the deepest of deep AL-only leagues. He was only hitting .219 with 5 HRs so far this year after having an obviously flukey 24 HRs and .297 AVG last year. Replacement: Ehire Adrianza (1.6%.) Yes, my fingers were on home row when I wrote that name. This is a deep AL-only league replacement option. With the demotion of Miguel Sano, Ehire has been eh-njoying his additional playing time. Has he been a power threat in the past? Not at all. Career high: 7 in the the minors. He does have a speed history, but the last time he stole more than 10 bases was way back in 2013. For the month of June he’s hitting .302 with 8 runs, 2 HR, 7 RBI and 1 SB. If you’re desperate Ehire is getting ABs and if he can keep up the 36% hard hit rate along with his 28% line drive rate he’ll at least be helping your ratios. Anything else is gravy.
Mike Foltynewicz, SP, Triceps Tightness: When Folty was removed from his June 12th start after 73 pitches in 5 shutout innings — Atlanta twitter damn near melted down. To be fair, my heart nearly melt down too. Luckily — it’s looking like he’ll be pitching this Sunday so hopefully a little R&R was all the doctor ordered. Stash or Trash: Hard stash. Folty is putting all of his best skills together and having a breakout Cy Young season. 2.16 ERA + 10.71 K/9 + 1.14 WHIP = YUM. Fill In: Tyler Anderson (15.4%.) If you desperately need one NL-only start before Folty is back — grab Tyler Anderson. On Saturday he’ll be facing off against the Miami Marlins who are ranked 29th in the league in OPS vs lefties. He should dominate.
Evan Longoria, 3B, Fractured Hand: 6 to 8 weeks for Longoria. Longoria was in the midst of the most disappointing season of his career so far before getting struck by a stray Dan Straily pitch. He was a picture of health up until that point — playing in at least 155 games in each of the last 5 years. Stash or Trash: You might want to consider trashing if you need someone to play for you over the next two months. There are at least 15-20 third basemen who are better fantasy options than Longo. Replacement: Matt Duffy (19.1%.) Is it cheating if I recommend him two weeks in a row? Well check out last week’s article where I listed Duffy as an injury replacement for Andrelton Simmons. Since last week he’s tacked on another 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BBs, 0 Ks and 1 SB.
Garrett Richards, SP, Strained Hamstring: Luckily, Richards was playing catch on Monday which is a good sign. I think he’ll still be out another week and a half — but with Richards we should all take this as a huge victory. Stash or Trash: Stash. Richards has been playing like we’ve all hoped he would one day if he were ever to stay healthy. He’s striking out over a batter per inning and is forcing hitters into hitting 50% of their balls into the ground. Fill In: Blaine Hardy (6.7%) is not getting talked about enough. He’s made 7 starts this year and in only one of them did he allow more than 2 runs. And that was against the Red Sox so let’s cut him some slack. In those other 6 starts he has a 2.67 ERA. His K/9 of 6.2 isn’t what you want but he’s limiting the walks (1.9 per 9,) and he isn’t allowing too many HRs (0.8 per 9.) I think the lower ownership is due to the looming threat of Francisco Liriano returning to their rotation — but if I’m Ron Gardenhire I’m seeing what I could have with Blaine Hardy rather than knowing what I have with Liriano.
Jorge Soler, OF, Fractured Toe: Unfortunately Soler’s pace has slowed after his average hit its .333 peak on May 12th. In the 26 games since he’s hitting .175. Hopefully the 6 weeks he’s due to miss will help him clear his head to return to his hot start. Stash or Trash: Seeing as his ownership has dropped 23% since the announcement I would consider trashing him for the time being. He wasn’t exactly helping your lineup much anyway. Replacement: Randal Grichuk (5.7%.) I know this one is a huge gamble on your part. You’ll either look like the smartest owner alive — or the dumbest for falling for another Grichuk hot streak. I don’t know what his DL stint has done to him but he’s been crushing since he came back. In 14 games he’s got 15 hits, 10 runs, 5 RBI, 13 RBI and even stolen a base. With Hunter Strickland going on the DL for me — I just dropped him and grabbed Grichuk to see what happens.
Ask all your league specific injury questions below!